When I started with Fourcorners last summer a trip to visit To Øl City was mentioned. We import and sell their beers in Ireland so, of course, it’s of vital importance that we visit the source. Jonathan, who looks after export for To Øl picked us up from the airport, and gentleman that he is, furnished us with a bag of cold cans to quench our thirst on the journey to the brewery.
To Øl City is just outside a small town called Svinninge. The other major industry seems to be an online sex toy shop, I wonder if they’ve ever considered a collaboration? After all, both products bring joy, I should’ve suggested it.
To Øl City was formerly a factory which produced canned vegetables and ketchup which provided some useful infrastructure for brewing beer. You could say they just keep on pumping out the sauce. Our tour started at the labs and we were talked through some of the processes in place to ensure consistent quality.
They also have a sensory panel to test fresh beers regularly and they can also compare older batches stored warm and cold to see how they are aging. Quality is taken seriously, as it should be.
Next stop was the malt store which houses some large silos of malt, including organic malt for the hugely popular 45 Days Organic Pilsner. I was impressed with the tonne sacks myself. Thankfully they are able to mash in automatically.
Then it was through to the brew house. To Øl brew 8,000 litre batches four times a day. Brewing starts in the small hours in the morning, luckily for the brew team, this is done automatically. That said, on rare occasions in the past parts have gone awry and mashing out became a bit more manual.
I was very taken with the lagering tanks. These were made in 1936 in Germany and refurbished. To Øl’s lagers spend 15 days in the fermenters and a further 30 days in these tanks. (Yes, that makes 45 Days!)
The canning line is capable of doing up to 10,000 cans an hour. And they had a cool robot for stacking cases on a pallet. Hours of fun could be had watching it!
To Øl City is so named because of the amount of buildings which house a distillery, Æberov cider and Mikropolis cocktail production. There’s an underground pipe network which means wort can be pumped from the brewery to another part of the complex. There’s also a beer garden, shop and large function room. I’d imagine it would be a great place for a party.
We concluded our tour with a visit to the warehouse and a small drop of the whopper Mash Test Yummies. Thanks to the good people of To Øl City for taking the time to talk to us and make us feel welcome. Then it was time to head back to Copenhagen.
Most of us hadn’t eaten since breakfast in Dublin airport so the suggestion of a very late lunch in Warpigs was welcomed. And I had the opportunity to revisit (First time link!) my favourite beer name ever – You fucked me up and I’m furious. It’s a coffee stout and it’s still good.
Dave from Cork recommended Vinstue90 and I plotted a route to Brus which happened to include it. Slow Beer is the draw here. The bartender informed me that a pint would take 20 minutes. So I said I’d have a beer whilst waiting. Bryghuset Møn Klintekogens Klassik is a Vienna Lager that helped pass the waiting time pleasantly. The Slow Beer is a traditional way of serving Carlsberg, it’s poured in several stages and the end result is a smooth beer with a large head. Apparently there’s only a couple of places left serving this style. It reminded me of the Banked Beer which featured in a recent Pellicle article. If you’re interested in beer history or old traditions it’s worth a try. Side note: people were smoking in this bar, which came as a bit of a surprise.
Slow Beer was supped in less time than it took to be poured as it was time to hot foot it to Brus.
Brus is a restaurant which houses a tidy brewery for To Øl CPH. The beers are a bit more experimental than the ones brewed out at To Øl City but they were all very good, I particularly enjoyed a berry IPA as it differed from a lot of the fruited IPAs currently available by having a nice dry tart finish.
We had a great dinner at Brus starting off with hummus and peppers and finishing up with some excellent smash burgers. A crisp rice lager was a perfect match for my burger.
For dessert Jonathan took a couple of us to some quite different bars. Charlie’s Bar is an unusual one for Copenhagen, specialising as it does in cask ale. They do also have kegged beer for anyone who isn’t a cask convert! I went for a sensible sessionable Mesmerist from Siren.
And our last port of call was Wessels Kro, a bar that has been serving beer since 1772. I finished up with a Tuborg Classic which seemed fitting. A truly great day was had. Sláinte!